From our President: A time for community

May 04, 2022
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven …

Eccl 3:1

This is a time for community. There is much to keep us off balance, from the war in Ukraine to the climate crisis to an unsettled economy and a disrupted supply chain. This is a time of uncertainty. It is a time for community.

The Board of Pensions is a community of learning, care, and well-being. We work through the Benefits Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and assistance and education programs to foster wholeness for all who serve the PC(USA) and its affiliated employers. We are committed to this work. We keep at it. At all times.

The foundation of this work is A Theology of Benefits. It reminds us that the desire for health and wholeness is at the heart of the Gospel call. We make available, through the community of the Board, benefits and programs to support spiritual, health, financial, and vocational well-being.

Community nature and generational equity underlie the Benefits Plan. Pensions accrue at the median effective salary for people earning less than that, so members receive equitable pension benefits in retirement, no matter their circumstances. And the death benefits, providing income continuation and an education benefit, disproportionately support younger participants.

All plan members have access to education and assistance programs in support of wholeness. The need to go virtual during the coronavirus crisis led to more members being able to take advantage of our educational offerings, and opportunities continue to grow. Access to assistance grew this year as well, with the expansion of eligibility requirements.

2022 is nearly halfway over, so we’re starting to talk to employers about how they might better support their ministers and employees in 2023 through the Board. This week, we present The Church Summit – Virtual, for congregations with more than one or two people in the plan. Next month is the Client Summit, for PC(USA)-affiliated employers. And in August, we do a webcast for smaller churches.

Employers have a window of August 8-October 14 to submit 2023 Employer Agreements. They could speak with their ministers and employees now, to get an idea of the kind of support that might be needed, and then start mapping out which benefits to offer for 2023. Ministers and employees might even initiate the conversation.

This is a time of uncertainty. It is a time for community.

Grace and peace, 

The Reverend Dr. Frank Clark Spencer